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Ho Chi Minh City's economic growth to slow this year

GBS - With a projected 8 percent GDP increase, the southern business hub will still outperform most of the country.

The economy of Ho Chi Minh City is well on track to expand 7.6 percent in the first nine months and 8 percent by the end of the year, officials have said.

That would be the lowest annual growth rate since at least 2010, when the city's gross domestic product increased by nearly 12 percent. Last year the rate was 9.85.

Vietnam's economy as a whole is estimated to grow 6 percent this year, down from 6.68 percent in 2015. It is cooling down due to a decline in agriculture, as a historic drought has hurt rice and coffee production.

Ho Chi Minh City is shifting its economic focus to the service sector, which is expected to contribute 60 percent to the GDP by 2020.

Nearly 26,000 new companies with a total capital of more than VND212 trillion ($9.5 billion) were launched in the first nine months, accounting for a third of all new entries nationwide.

The city since 2014 has also carried out an ambitious plan to reduce the number of state-owned companies sharply from more than 100 to only seven by the end of 2018. It has succesfully privatized, shut down and merged around 40.

- VNExpress

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